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R&D Gueuze | New Glarus Brewing Company

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R&D GueuzeR&D Gueuze

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
1,900 bottles
Brewed March 24, 2009
Bottled August 6, 2010

Brewed in the tradition of the Lambics of Belgium but using a blend of Ale Yeast, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, and Acetobacter. These microorganisms came from our culture collection as well as many collected by Dan around the wilds of Wisconsin! Fermented and aged in Oak. This beer spent the summer of 2009 aging outdoors in used oak barrels, then bottle fermented.

Added by alcstradamus on 07-30-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 184
Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to both nerd and Arbitrator for sharing bottles.

Golden-amber, fairly clear and bright with a small white head. The aroma is interesting, very musty and cheesy, almost salty; the lactic quality reminds me distinctly of sour cream. There's also a solid foundation of damp oak. The palate is quite sour up front, very lactic and even a bit creamy. Lemony with musty/funky oak, grain husk and cheesy lactic acid. Light in body, pretty refreshing and unusual. Lactic and lemony finish with a lingering sour cream character. Pretty enjoyable overall, clearly not an authentic gueuze, but even taken as an American sour it doesn't quite stack up against the best.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a head, which after a careful pour, rose to two fingers; nice clumpage around the chalice, though the retention was not particularly long

Smell: Lactic yoghurt, apple skins, lemons and barnyard funk

Taste: All of the elements of the aroma come together right up front, leaving an overwhelming impression of tart yoghurt, with an oaky/vanilla character developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tartness lifts up another notch and the finish is very acidic

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; mouth-puckering

Drinkability: Despite the label, BA characterizes this as an American Wild; I agree with that and that is how I will rate it - top notch in that category

Thanks, DP34, for the opportunity

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear light amber color beer with a large foamy head with average retention and not much lacing. Aroma consists of light funky notes with some tart notes and light oak notes also noticeable. Taste is a good mix between some funky ester with some oak and tart notes that are all well balanced between each others. Body is about average with good carbonation. Well balanced and easily drinkable

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellared at 60º since the release in hopes of some bug development.

Decanted into a tulip glass at 52º, cool not cold. Frothy white foam rises and sticks a little to the glass. Bright clarity, it has a fossilized amber orange jewel tone. Some visible carbonation can be seen rising in trails from below.

Soft vanilla and apple tartness in the nose, also some white wine minerality. Clean, some vague indication of "wildness" though not especially funky at all. A bit too restrained, but still pleasant.

Crisp green apple tartness, juicy but not puckering. Wet hay and apple orchard impressions. Not especially funky, tart not sour. Crisp and dry feel, quenching. Cider and champagne come to mind. The apple dominates and there isn't much nuance or complexity from the barrel unfortunately. Brettanomyces is in here? Could have fooled me... Would like to see more oak, Brett, something funky in the ballpark of a traditional Gueuze. This is easy drinking, and tasty for what it is, but this pilot batch isn't worth jumping through hoops for. Hoping future incarnations bring the unbridled funk, and perhaps more cellar time will be beneficial for this batch.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright yellow with a bit of a white head. Smell immediately makes quite a bit of funk apparent, although it's not nearly as integrated as I get from the exemplars of the style. A bit of hay and ever-so-slight sourness. Taste brings forth a bit of horse blanket and some dry wheat. Hopefully it's just the age, but it's not terribly complex at this stage. This carries over into the mouthfeel, which isn't nearly as dry and funky as many Belgian counterparts. Drinkability is good, and I'm left wondering what this might become; or, better yet, what New Glarus might end up making if it continues down this road and creates a larger number of barrels/batches to blend.

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Photo of oline73
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mildly cloudy yellowish amber with a half finger of white head. This one has some decent retention.

Smell: Crisp and vinegary, more sour than funky. There is a lot of oak with some fruity notes in the smell as well.

Taste: Sour vinegar and white wine up front. A bit funky, nice and crisp. The finish is a bit mild/watery given the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a good gueuze, but given the hype and ratings behind it, I was hoping for a bit more. I would have liked the flavor to be a bit more aggressive in the finish.

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Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Lost Abbey Snifter.

Pours about a finger of clean white head. Fades down a bit but good retention from there. Some active carbonation in the glass. Color is a bright golden orange.

Aroma: Very sweet with a lot of fruit flavors. I get a lot of muskmelon flavors and lemon citrus. A bit of funk, but mainly sour. A hint of tart cherries. The funk comes at the very end and isn't too apparent.

Taste: Fairly tart and sour with a dry funkiness to it. The fruits are more sweet with the melon sticking out the most. Some light medicinal flavors with hints of horseblanket. Lemon zest and cherries. It has some oak showing. It is pretty good, but different from Belgian gueuzes. The aftertaste of sharp cheese or basement musk.

Mouthfeel: Tart with a mild funkiness. A bit fizzy with a medium amount carbonation. A lighter body for this one. Ends fairly clean.

Overall, I like the classification of American wild ale on this one. It has a few differences that really make it hard to compare to something like cantillon classic. It is a really nice beer, however. Pretty drinkable. I am really happy to see something like this made in the midwest.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the heart of the hobo tasting and the reason we came in the first place, the last two in the rnd series i needed to have. served chilled and next to the railroad tracks.

the pour was a bright golden yellow with a light cloudiness to it that settled out nicely showing some really nice carbonation that reinforced a pillow like white head. nice look overall.

aroma was massive funk that you could smell from everywhere. just a deep vinegar and apple sourness that was only slightly balanced and cut by some underlying notes of fruit and light grain. no matter how you sliced it this one was a beast. each sip puckered the lips,sucked all the moisture from your palate and left you searching for something more. huge sour apple finish that again really showed off just how sour this beer actually was with an increible hit of dryness in the finish.

overall this was a very solid beer, i much more preferred the bourbon kriek, but this was still very, very good.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Nate(?) for sharing this a 500 ml into cervoise.

The color is a beautiful golden shade with excellent clarity and a thick cap of white which looks fluffy with very fine beading and carbonation visibly streams from the center of the glass. The smell is herbal and toasty iwth fruity sourness and light tinge of rind with a tropical fruit sweet tinge and light wood accent.

the Taste is somewhat spicy with a gentle fruity tinge, not specifically sour but lightly sour in its own way with slight hints of tropical fruit augmenting with a nice wood component and mild dry oaky essence that compliments with a hint of tea-like tannic flavor. This is a really good beer, nice blend of many components makes for a complex taste. Dry herbal, juicy and slight tropical with a mild funk and light sour is a nice list of attributes to have. Overall I think it exceeds the drinkabililty and quality of the R& D Golden, not sure why it is rated lower -different strokes I guess.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Scott for hooking me up with a couple bottles of this "gueuze".

A: The pour is a golden orange color, much like the real thing, with an initially fluffy white head that dies down to a thin layer of foam.

S: A soft, but enjoyable, funk character to this beer. Mostly grass and straw notes with a slight lactic tartness. There is a bit of an apple juice character that provides some sweetness, but also some green apple for some more mild acidity.

T: The tartness is moderate, not quite as intense and puckering as many a traditional gueuze, but sufficient. Lemon and green apple provide some fruit notes, and a bit of a grassy character is present. There is an unfortunate metallic aftertaste, however.

M: The mouthfeel is actually quite appropriate. Medium body with a high carbonation that really resembles a true gueuze quite well.

D: Of course, I'd still prefer to open up a Cantillon Gueueze or Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze, but this was a good effort. The metallic quality sort of ruined it, though.

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Photo of orangesol
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I brought this one to our recent gueuze tasting. Served alongside the Kriek.

A - Pours golden straw yellow with a nice one finger tall white head leaving patchy lace down the glass.

S - Smells of light funk and sourness, dash of herbs, green apples, oak and some wet straw. Compared to the others we opened this ones nose wasn't as good.

T - Starts off with bright lactic sourness kick quickly giving way to hints of barnyard funk, green apples, lemon zest, oak and a touch of spice. Not as sour as I was expecting, also a slightly metallic flavor develops as it warms. Finish is pretty dry, lingering on the pallet after the finish.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Dry, tart feel that lingers through the finish. Nice and soft at the start growing a bit watered down toward the end of the glass.

O - Second time I have had this one, once fresh and once aged, and I have enjoyed it both times, altho I think I preferred it fresh. The flavors where mild and it was easy to drink. I would recommend it.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.64/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by ahalloin. Thanks Tony!

The beer appears clear and golden. Don't blink or you'll miss the head, as it fades instantly, leaving nary a trace of its existence. The beer has but a few bubbles and appears low in carbonation. This is an appearance I would expect from a very old gueuze. Hmm. The beer is more sweet than sour, which is the polar opposite of my personal preference. That being said, it tastes pretty good for what it is. True to form, this is another New Glarus beer that is just too sweet. A few ounces was plenty. This is not what I would consider a gueuze.

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Photo of stakem
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Orangesol for sharing this. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a taster. The brew appears a clear golden color with a white froth. As the cap fades, it leaves some spotty to patchy lacing effect on the glass. A light swirl revives the head.

The smell of this brew is briney like olives mixed with some lemon and funk. Oak is present with a spiced aspect almost like vanilla and cinnamon. Some notes of vinegar come out as it warms. I'm not sure if it is the type of oak or level of char to the barrel but I've noticed a similarity here in other barrel aged bees that comes across with almost an incense aspect about the nose. Not bad, just a little ackward for the style.

The taste includes an immediate barrel ages presence of vanilla and cinnamon. It had almost a sweet tea flavor about it. Some mild sourness mixes with some tangy notes of mild apple cider vinegar. There is a hint of nail polish remover across the back which intertwines with some dirty diaper aspect and tannic nature from the barrel aging.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It is fairly easy drinking and a very unique take on the style. It has a big focus on the barrel aging which I found enjoyable in its own right but distracting from what I like most about the Geuze style. This is worth a try if you get the chance but not traditional by any means. I was appreciative for the chance to try this, thanks Nate.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to pantanap for sharing. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - Pours with a finger of off-white foam that quickly dissipates to a thin ring and filmy haze. The body is a hazy peach color.

S - Mixed berry yogurt, apple skins, some wood and char, oaky vanilla, pale malt backbone. Definitely not your typical gueuze here.

T - Taste is pretty similar but a bit less exciting. Vanilla, sweet barnyard funkiness, a little bit of tart apples, lemon, and sour grapes. Just surprisingly sweet for gueuze - unless you've been drinking Mort Subite or something...

M - Zesty carbonation, medium body, dry finish but minimal pucker. Pretty successful here.

D - As an American Wild it's pretty decent, but as a Gueuze it's more on the mediocre side. I'm with alcstradamus here, and will split the difference in my scoring. I'd definitely have this again, and would like to see what some age does to it. No problems finishing my pour.

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Photo of Duff27
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Half inch white head on a dark golden/light amber body. Leaves a collar of the most part, then vanishes.

Slight tartness on the nose, hint of sweetness as well!

The sweetness that I detected in the aroma didn't translate in the taste, all sour here. "granny smith apples". Well hidden alcohol, hardly noticeable.

Light and crisp mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

Yum yum here. Aged 2 years and now finally enjoying the first two limited quantity R&D beers, worth the wait. Holds up well to some of the more sour-eccentric breweries' (Russian River, Cascade) beers.

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Photo of aasher
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this bottle from thagr81us in a massive trade back in September. I've been wanting to try this one for a long time. Thanks Calton!

It pours a light bodied clear copperish gold in color with a light white lacing around the glass. It smells of light butter from the oaking, light dried fruits, namely peaches and apricots. The flavors feature light oaking and light and quick dried apricot. It finishes very quickly and drinks very light in body. It drinks really smoothly and leaves a very appealing after taste behind. It has a good amount of carbonation and is very effervescent. The flavor is nice and satisfying, just short. I like it a lot and am glad to have tried it. It's one of the more drinkable, sessionable gueuzes I've come across.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled August 2010; Sampled September 2010
A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a two finger thick, lightly tan colored head. The beer is a nice gold hue that shows a touch of haze. The aroma has a fruity acetic acid focused note to it up front (that is usually a sign of a poorly made Gueuze in Belgium). A dried, grassy grain notes in the finish intermingle with a lactic acidity that is a bit more usual. Musty, definitely musky and this has a certain urea like quality to it. the funkiness reminds me a bit of phenolic soaked and sweat dried old blankets. This really has a nice, grain driven, hay like / pale cracker character to it that comes through more as one gets used to the acid and funkiness. Even towards the end of my glass the pale grain character still plays a large role; I really like this somehow rustic seeming grain character here in the nose.

My first sip is sharply acidic up front, not just from the usual suspects but also from an effervescent, fizzy carbonation. This is more tart than I was expecting and thankfully is more lactic focused than I had worried it would be (based on the initial aroma). There is a touch of acetic character here, but only just and it is perfectly in line with the norm of a well made Gueuze; light perfuming the character and boosting a perception of fruit in this beer. The long finish sees a lingering, pail grain character sticking to the palate; dried hay and an almost oatmeal like raw grain dustiness showcase the wheat and pale malt and outlasts the acidity on the tongue. This doesn't quite have the lactic / oak texture of a phenomenal Gueuze, but the light body, prickly carbonation and easy drinking character of this beer is still quite a treat. As the beer warms up a couple more things become apparent; first off a very soft, suggestion of sweetness starts to be noticed; this is fleeting as at other times it remains bone dry and I think this is purely a perception from the hint of acetic character that is here. Secondly a subtle oak character starts to come out; a hint of oak spice and woody flavor is contributed towards the finish, it is very well integrated with the other flavors and is perhaps a touch more subtle than its actual influence warrants.

This is much, much better than I was expecting; the texture is perhaps a touch lacking, and the beer could use a bit more complexity in the flavor department, but this is a really nice, American made, example of a Gueuze. I can't wait to see what subsequent releases turn out like as the beer is continued to be blended by previous batches.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enelson shipped me this as part of a very generous trade... Truly appreciated amigo... I shared this with a few of the geeks. Pours very clear bright yellow..

Nose is lemony and has something that reminds me of chamomile .. granny smith apples.. not as funky as I had built it up in my mind... still pretty interesting.

Flavor begins with the same elements as the aroma.. but a touch of sweetness seems out of place.. clean lemon and only a mild leather and horseblanket funk.. later pours show a bit of mushroom, but it is minor... more lemony than anything else.

Body is medium lite and the carbonation is about right.. maybe a little lite.

If this is the first commercial go-around for NG in the "Gueuze" playground, I am damn impressed... but with the big boys, it needs aging and some dialing in.

Another big props to enelson... Thanks Ed... we must do another trade soon.


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Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Thanks to Mike (Overlord) for sharing. The Law of Equipoise must be restored in the near future.

A: Mountainous frothy white head atop a hazed golden body, good retention, scattered lacing.

S: Lemon, oak, moderately sweet, moderately acidic. There's a light Brett presence and an inchoate funk character to the beer. A restrained lactic sourness is evident as well as some phenolic and acetone notes.

F: Sweet and lightly tart lemon with notes of oak and very little funk, maybe a dash of musty character. The sourness is mostly lactic and it comes across as sort of simple. The finish is lactic and lightly acidic lemony oak.

M: Crisp and dry with upper moderate carbonation.

Overall: I think this was a decent American Wild Ale, but calling it a Gueuze does it a disservice as it lacks the intricacies and various qualities that I associate with the style. I'm a big New Glarus fan, but this isn't one of their better beers and wasn't what I'd hoped.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just finally getting around to trying this beer. Been sitting around in the cellar for a bit.

Appearance: Poured into snifter glass. Nice translucent copperish color with a big white head.

Smell: a bit of funky smell. not too much malt or hops smell, just a pleasant funk.

Taste: cant really say what i am tasting here besides delicate sourness and acidic flavors. Maybe some pear flavors in there. Enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: feels acidic, but smooth at the same time. Beer coats the mouth.

Drinkability: It is easy to drink the whole bottle yourself. I was in the mood for something different than my normal beer styles i drink, and i got that with this beer. I have not had very many sour beers yet, but this beer has opened my mind to trying more beers like this style!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500mL bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Bottled 08-06-10.

(A)- Pours a crystal clear golden orange hue that produced a good effervescent pure white head that has some great retention behind it.

(S)- A dry earthy barnyard floor front with a light floral aspect to it. A light tart apple fruit in the background. Bits of lemon sourness; subtle, but there.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A much stronger lactic sourness than the smell led me to believe, but welcomed! An earthy clay dryness of a funkiness that I enjoy. A light combo of a tart apple/lemon fruit zest at the end with an even bigger dryness. Pretty sour throughout, but restrained.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Rather sour, but has a great earthy funk to smooth it out. A nice tart fruit zest at the end. A great feel for the style.

(D)- New Glarus never fails. They seem to succeed in just about everything they make, and this is no different. A fantastic take on the style that is more fitting of its name than a Wild Ale in my opinion. This one rather impressed me. Crisp, and just the right amount of sour funk and light fruits. Nothing like some funk from the Midwest! Well-done yet again Dan. Can I buy a case? I look forward to seeing how this ages in the coming years.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to CaseyK for sending me a pair of the most recent New Glarus R&D series beers. I split them with Devin earlier tonight.

Hazy orange with a dense white head with good retention and lacing, this is a very good looking beer. It would be a lot clearer, if not for being shaken up. The nose is decent, and rather unlike what I was expecting. Definite Bretty character with a moderate fruit character that grows as the beer warms. Initially mildly tropical with some citrus and a little apple, warming the beer up brings out a moderate stone fruit character. Mildly funky and cheesy, almost fatty, there's some mild phenols, mildly plasticy and rubbery. The plastic does fade off as it sits in my glass for a while. Ultimately, though, this beer really doesn't have the oomph of a traditional gueuze, and is, in fact, quite timid.

The palate opens surprisingly tart, very, very lactic with a little lemon. No acetic character whatsoever, this is just a giant wave of lactic sourness that initially swamps everything else. As it warms, the fruit character really comes through, a delicious light stone fruit character with peaches and apricots and a little citrus too. Drying and rather lactic on the finish with a little tannin character, this beer is light in body. Carbonation is high, causing the beer to initially foam up in my mouth, and the lactic finish is almost yogurt-like. Very very refreshing, I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and would drink it again in a heartbeat. As a gueuze, it fails, but as a beer, it does very well, and is an excellent first attempt. I'd like to raise my scores, but given that I'm currently drinking a fresh Cantillon Classic, I can't quite do that.

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Photo of drpimento
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bang on! Poured with a fine white head that slowly settles, but lasts to the bottom and lots of lace. Color is a slightly pale yellow. Aroma is very yeasty, spicey, fresh cut grass, and grain. Flavor is like aroma plus a little lemon and lots of bitterness from yeast and Brett. Body is perfect and so is carbonation. Finish is clean and fresh. Slow sipping on hot summer days session.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kan for this treat.

Pours a light peach, cloudly, off white head, not good retention or lacing...The aromaa is sour to start, a little oak, but then a weird medicinal yogurt comes through that is really offputting...Taste is similar lots of yogurt with a more pronounced medicinal finish...Decent feel but kind of tough to drink as its really off putting and not what is expected at all for a gueze.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jedwards for the opportunity to try this beer. Bottled on 08/06/2010. Pours a straw gold hue with a quarter inch, frothy, bright white head that dissipates into a froth and a skim. Nose expresses citrus zest and light malts - the nose is really quite bright on this beer. Taste is bready with some buttery notes. I would really liken this to a bolder berlinner-weisse. Mouthfeel is light-medium, but closer to light, with a lively carbonation. Overall, a very nice sour, although more akin to a berlinner-weisse than an American Wild in my opinion. This beer has held up very well. Too bad it's a one-off.

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R&D Gueuze from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 184 ratings.
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